Medications

Popular Arthritis Drugs Less Cost-Effective Than Common Pain Killers

Selective COX-2 inhibitors, such as rofecoxib (Vioxx) and celecoxib (Celebrex), are not as cost-effective as common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin), indomethacin, and naproxen, in treating arthritis in the average patient. This was the conclusion of a recent study conducted by the University of California (Los Angeles) and the Veterans Affairs of Greater Los Angeles. Researchers found that the newer COX-2 drugs, developed to offer the same pain relief as NSAIDs but…

Arthritis Drugs: Why New Doesnt Necessarily Mean Better

Youve probably noticed-in all the media-that there are many more drug ads today, describing magic new elixirs for the Pain and Suffering of Arthritis, promising theres More to Life Than Osteoarthritis Pain or how a drug can Help You Enjoy Everyday Things Again. Perhaps youre thinking, Ive got to get this new drug-so you call your doctor and ask for a prescription. …

Ask Dr. Marks: 04/03

There seem to be a lot of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) on the market. Are they really very different from one another? All NSAIDs, which are designed to relieve arthritis pain and inflammation, have different side effects. Substantial research has gone into not only reducing these drugs side effects but into improving a patients response to these medications. The newest are called COX-2 inhibitors, which work through a different mechanism than traditional NSAIDs to limit…

Are Clinical Trials For You?

Do news stories about research studies reporting great success with experimental drugs make you think: I wish Id been in on that? Maybe you can be, next time-by volunteering for a clinical trial. A clinical trial is a research study that investigates the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, medical devices, and procedures on human volunteers. Once treatments have been tested in the laboratory or on animals, they are moved into clinical trials to learn…

Supplements: Dont Swallow The Claims

When traditional treatments dont relieve your arthritis pain, it makes sense to look for help elsewhere, perhaps along the shelves of your local drugstore, where dozens of herbal and dietary supplements clamor for your attention with claims of healthier joints and pain relief. But how do you sort through such an overwhelming range of choices? […]

Wristy Business: Carpal Tunnel Turmoil

If your fingers suddenly turn numb and tingly, you could be feeling more than a hand thats fallen asleep. You could be experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome, in which pressure on a nerve in your wrist causes numbness and muscle weakness. The carpal tunnel is by nature an anatomically crowded location-a narrow channel on the underside of the wrist with bones on three sides and a ligament on the other. Nine tendons and a single nerve, called…

New Weapons For Joint Defense

The news coming out of a recent American Medical Association press briefing on inflammatory diseases was not just encouraging-it was extraordinary. During the past decade, journalists were told by Dr. Steve Abramson of the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City, there has been a molecular revolution that has moved therapies from bench to bedside with amazing speed. We have entered an unprecedented period in which every year there is something to be hopeful…

Ask Dr. Marks: 12/03

Since I am unable to swallow pills, I wonder about the effectiveness I can expect from chondroitin sulfate if I open a capsule and take the contents with food? The effectiveness of chondroitin sulfate will not be altered by opening capsules and taking the substance with food. The real question is, Is chondroitin sulfate effective? …

In the News: 02/04

Celebrex Or Vioxx? Its A Toss Up Despite some heated claims and counter-claims, selective COX-2 inhibitors celecoxib (Celebrex) and rofecoxib (Vioxx) have been found to be equally effective. This was the finding following a study by Dr. Allan Gibofsky and his colleagues at Cornell Universitys Weill Medical College. The head-to-head, placebo-controlled test, reported in the November 2003 Arthritis & Rheumatism, involved 475 patients with knee osteoarthritis who were given celecoxib (200mg/day), rofecoxib (25mg/day), or a placebo.…

Ask Dr. Marks: 01/04

I hear more and more about lumbar stenosis being a common problem with seniors. What exactly is it and what is the suggested therapy or cure if one exists? Lumbar spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, which is usually the result of spinal arthritis. The spinal canal contains both the spinal cord and nerve roots, and narrowing of the spinal canal can compress these nerve roots, resulting in pain. With an aging U.S.…

In the News: 01/04

Write The Pain Away An arthritis flare-up can be brought on by any number of factors-extreme stress, a disturbing event, personal loss or conflict-each of which can impact the immune system. One not-so-traditional way to lessen the pain of flare-ups is described in The Writing Cure: How Expressive Writing Promotes Health and Emotional Well-Being (American Psychological Association). Co-editors Joshua Smyth, Ph.D., and Stephen Lepore, Ph.D., and their colleagues explored the effects of supervised journal writing…

In the News: 12/03

RA Patients At Higher Risk For Periodontal Disease New evidence suggests that individuals with moderate to severe periodontal (gum) disease are at higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis, and vice-versa. Although its not known just how closely the two conditions are allied, researchers at the University of Queensland (Australia) School of Dentistry have discovered similarities in factors contributing to both diseases. …